at Liliana Bloch Gallery
by Todd Camplin
Du Chau’s exhibition has been extended into the second week of November at Liliana Bloch
Gallery. An epic installation such as Chau deserves more time on the walls and floor. I thought
I was getting the last glimpse this weekend, but I think I will have to visit one more time in
November to experience these engrossing art pieces.
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|traditionally reshaped into functional objects. Chau uses these materials to tell a personal
story about his childhood and journey through life. I didn’t initially see a history, instead I
was attracted by his formal elements of repetition and a beautiful unity to each work.
I felt like touching each piece, but I resisted the urge. Something about ceramic just
invites you to feel its surface. The wires on each piece encouraged you to fan the art
in order to see the ceramic parts wave back and forth. I enjoyed how the shadows
played off the walls.
A story started to become apparent when I ran across a group of hands. Then I noticed
the row of blocks with red flower shapes which appeared to be books, the the very large
work with long ceramic fingers dripping down looked like a tree, and one of the works
looked like little men strung like beads. Chau hints at history, but I can see how our own
narrative can creep into the work. The tree like piece references a weeping willow and
I was instantly taken back to my aunt’s apple farm in Michigan. She had next to her
greenhouse when my brother and I use to explore and play hide and seek. If an artwork
can pull a memory from your own past while still retaining its’ intent, then I would have
to say the art piece was fairly successful. What makes Chau’s willow reach an even
higher level of success is that it also transcends story and you can enjoy the piece
as just a purely abstract form. I found myself breathing deeply and clearing my
mind before another piece would invoke another memory. A strange cycle of rest
and memory overcame me at the show.
|elevating your senses to a more spiritual plane of existence. Or at least to a higher degree
than just surface information. I felt moved by the works and I thought Chau’s art spoke to
me on several levels. This is the kind of show you have to experience to get the feelings I
can’t seem to fully express in words.
Du Chau teaches at Brookhaven College where apparently quite a few talented ceramic
artists are teaching. Lisa Ehrich, who is currently showing at Modartists Gallery, is the
department chair at the college. Like Chau, Susan Feller Mollet adjuncts and creates
some fun whimsical art pieces. I have to poke my nose around the college again to
see these artists working with their students.